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Persistent environmental change after the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum in the eastern North Atlantic

Bornemann, André and Norris, Richard D. and Lyman, Johnnie A. and D'haenens, Simon and Groeneveld, Jeroen and Röhl, Ursula and Farley, Kenneth A. and Speijer, Robert P. (2014) Persistent environmental change after the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum in the eastern North Atlantic. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 394 . pp. 70-81. ISSN 0012-821X.

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The Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM; ∼56 Ma) is associated with abrupt climate change, carbon cycle perturbation, ocean acidification, as well as biogeographic shifts in marine and terrestrial biota that were largely reversed as the climatic transient waned. We report a clear exception to the behavior of the PETM as a reversing climatic transient in the eastern North Atlantic (Deep-Sea Drilling Project Site 401, Bay of Biscay) where the PETM initiates a greatly prolonged environmental change compared to other places on Earth where records exist. The observed environmental perturbation extended well past the δ^(13)C recovery phase and up to 650 kyr after the PETM onset according to our extraterrestrial ^3He-based age-model. We observe a strong decoupling of planktic foraminiferal δ^(18)O and Mg/Ca values during the PETM δ^(13)C recovery phase, which in combination with results from helium isotopes and clay mineralogy, suggests that the PETM triggered a hydrologic change in western Europe that increased freshwater flux and the delivery of weathering products to the eastern North Atlantic. This state change persisted long after the carbon-cycle perturbation had stopped. We hypothesize that either long-lived continental drainage patterns were altered by enhanced hydrological cycling induced by the PETM, or alternatively that the climate system in the hinterland area of Site 401 was forced into a new climate state that was not easily reversed in the aftermath of the PETM.

Item Type:Article
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Groeneveld, Jeroen0000-0002-8382-8019
Farley, Kenneth A.0000-0002-7846-7546
Additional Information:© 2014 Elsevier B.V. Received 16 July 2013. Received in revised form 4 March 2014. Accepted 10 March 2014. Available online 1 April 2014. Editor: J. Lynch-Stieglitz. This research used samples and data provided by the ODP. The ODP was sponsored by NSF and participating countries under the management of Joint Oceanographic Institutions (JOI). This manuscript benefited from three constructive reviews of Cedric John and two anonymous reviewers. Financial support was provided by the DFG to AB (BO2505/4-1, BO2505/5-1) and UR. RPS and SD were funded by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO - G.0422.10) and the Research Fund KU Leuven (OT/08/018), and helium isotope analyses were partially supported by NSF grant OCE-1060877 to KAF. This research used data acquired at the XRF Core Scanner Lab at the MARUM – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Research Foundation Flanders (FWO)G.0422.10
Research Fund KU LeuvenOT/08/018
Subject Keywords:PETM; carbon isotope excursion; paleoclimatology; paleoceanography; isotope geochemistry
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140609-102532088
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Official Citation:André Bornemann, Richard D. Norris, Johnnie A. Lyman, Simon D'haenens, Jeroen Groeneveld, Ursula Röhl, Kenneth A. Farley, Robert P. Speijer, Persistent environmental change after the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum in the eastern North Atlantic, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 394, 15 May 2014, Pages 70-81, ISSN 0012-821X, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:46146
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:09 Jun 2014 17:57
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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